Recent Posts

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Savage Messiah: Ken Russell / The Music Lovers on Blu-ray
« Last post by Iain Fisher on April 11, 2024, 04:44:02 PM »
The British Film Institute are releasing The Music Lovers, Ken Russell's film on Tchaikovsky, on Blu-ray with many extras:
  • Presented in High Definition
  • Newly recorded audio commentary by film historian Matthew Melia
  • Interview with Alexander Verney-Elliott (2024): Ken Russell's son looks back upon his father's work, and remembers his own appearance in The Music Love
  • Charlotte Bronte Enters the Big Brother House (2007, 16 mins): Ken Russell staged, directed and filmed this 'Radical Bronte' ballet for young people, illustrating Jane Eyre
  • The Guardian Interview: Melvyn Bragg (1988, c76mins): Ten years after the inception of The Southbank Show, Melvyn Bragg discusses his career in television and film writer Ronald Harwood, at the National Film Theatre in London.
  • Galina Ulanova in "Swan Lake" (1940, 6 mins): one of the greatest ballerinas of all time is seen performing a dance from Swan Lake. As this rare footage is silent, for best results, watch it as you listen to your favourite recording of the Adagio from Act 2
  • USSR Today: Edited highlights from three editions of the Soviet newsreel, gathering items about Tchaikovsky and Russian musical arts.
  • Original trailer
  • FIRST PRESSING ONLY- Illustrated booklet with new writing on the film by Matthew Melia, a new essay by Caroline Langhorst and contributions from Alexander Verney-Elliott and Lisi Russell
It will be released 17 June 2024.

For more on The Music Lovers click here.

Savage Messiah: Ken Russell / British Horror on Film
« Last post by Iain Fisher on April 06, 2024, 10:53:39 AM »
A new book Folk horror on film edited by Kevin J. Donnelly and Louis Bayman has been issued, and will include Ken Russell's The Lair of the White Worm".

"What is folk horror and how culturally significant is it?  This collection is the first study to address these questions while considering the special importance of British cinema to the genre's development.  The book presents political and aesthetic analyses of folk horror's uncanny landscapes and frightful folk. It places canonical films like Witchfinder General (1968), The Blood on Satan's Claw (1971) and The Wicker Man (1973) in a new light and expands the canon to include films like the sci-fi horror Doomwatch (1970-72) and the horror documentary Requiem for a Village (1975) alongside filmmakers Ken Russell and Ben Wheatley".

Sounds interesting.  It is currently an expensive hardback (ÂŁ90) but when in paperback I will post more.

For more on The Lair of the White Worm click here

Savage Messiah: Ken Russell / Shirley Russell's costumes for Women in Love
« Last post by Iain Fisher on April 04, 2024, 07:44:22 PM »
Shirley Russell's work on costumes for Women in Love, with an informative article by Claire Smith of the British Film Institute.

"The costumes of the central characters look forward from the war to the youth, vigour and energy of the 1920s style. Scouring London markets and regional auctions for examples of period dress, [Shirley] Russell made the moment relevant; seeking links between the present and the vivacious, wild but often troubled bright young things of the decade".
The article by Claire Smith on the BFI website is here

For more on Women in Love click here

Athol Fugard discussion / My Children! My Africa! in Cape Town, South Africa
« Last post by Iain Fisher on April 03, 2024, 08:16:18 PM »
My Children! My Africa! is on at the Artscape Theatre in Cape Town from 4- 19 April 2024.

"In a township classroom in the Eastern Cape in 1984, an idealistic teacher attempts to instill a love of learning in his gifted pupil, but political unrest and the generational divide soon culminate in an explosive conflict with tragic consequences. Athol Fugard’s seminal 1989 play, My Children! My Africa! presents a candid and moving portrait of a country on the verge of revolution. This modern classic is Fugard’s hymn to the power of youth, education, hope and ideas".

For the theatre website click here
For more on the play click here

Savage Messiah: Ken Russell / updates to advertisments by Ken Russell
« Last post by Iain Fisher on April 03, 2024, 05:18:57 PM »
A list of advertisements filmed by Ken Russell, such as Birds Eye Cod Portions and Rowntree’s Black Magic from the 1960s.

The list comes from Richard Farmer, Ken Russell and Television Advertising, part of The Films of Ken Russell, editor Matthew Malia, 2023.

The page is here
Savage Messiah: Ken Russell / The Lair of the White Worm on Blu-ray
« Last post by Iain Fisher on April 03, 2024, 11:53:01 AM »
A Blu-ray of Lair of the White Worm is to be released in the USA on 14 May 2024.

Extras include:
  • a commentary by Ken Russell
  • Lisi Russell in conversation with Film Historian Matthew Melia
  • The featurette “Worm Food: The Effects of The Lair of the White Worm”
  • Interviews with Editor Peter Davies and Actress Sammi Davis
  • plus trailers and gallery.

For more on The Lair of the White Worm click here

Athol Fugard discussion / People are Living There (This is my Life) in Moscow
« Last post by Iain Fisher on March 30, 2024, 07:20:34 PM »
This is my Life, an adaptation of Athol Fugard's People are Living There is performed att the Sovremennik Theatre in Moscow, Russia.  Performances in Russian are from 31 March- 27 MAy 2024.

The director is Gulnaz Balpeisova and the actors are Alyona Babenko, Ivan Stebunov, Efim Belosorochka and Marta Khovanskaya.

For the Theater website click here
For more on People are Living There click here

Steven Berkoff discussion / Metamorphosis in Saskatchewan, Canada
« Last post by Iain Fisher on March 20, 2024, 06:57:53 PM »
Greystone Theatre present Steven Berkoff's Metamorphosis from 20- 23 March 2024. It is on at the Emrys Jones Theatre, John Mitchell Building, University of Saskatchewan.

The director is Natasha Martina and the cast are Jonny MacPherson (Mr. Samsa ), Gillian Garvie (Mrs. Samsa ), Piper Nordell (Gregor), Emily Pitters (Greta ), Siyam Hassan (Clerk) and Kaeleigh Folk (Lodger).

"Metamorphosis highlights many themes including: identity; desire to revolt but constrained by familial duties; gender roles; mental health; and transformation. What really intrigued me about this play was the central premise associated with how one’s job defines who they are; or stated in the form of a question, is there more to life than our profession? Transformation is a part of life’s natural course; but at issue here is the degree to which one can consciously choose their own path as opposed to being forced – day in, and day out – to do something, anything, merely to survive".

Are details are on the university site click here
For more on Metamorphosis click here

Steven Berkoff discussion / Steven Berkoff on young people in the arts
« Last post by Iain Fisher on March 16, 2024, 12:05:45 PM »
A short telephone interview of Steven Berkoff by Andrew Marr on young people and difficulties they have in entering the arts.

The LBC link is here
Berkoff speaks around 40 minutes in,
Sarah Kane discussion / Re: Cleansed in USA
« Last post by Iain Fisher on March 03, 2024, 10:52:18 AM »
Sarah Kane's Cleansed is performed in Houston, USA from 5- 27 April 2024.  It is on at the Catastrophic Theatre in Houston, USA.

The directors are Jason Nodler and T Lavois Thiebaud. The actors are Raymond Compton, Bryan KaplĂşn, Ruben Ramires, T Lavois Thiebaud, Chuck Vaughn, Abraham Zeus Zapata and Walt Zipprian.

"Kane’s work continues to be performed extensively throughout the world and she has developed a cult-like following in many Western countries. Yet this production will mark only the fourth time her work has been seen in Houston. The first was Infernal Bridegroom’s Phaedra’s Love, also under Nodler’s direction, followed by Catastrophic Theatre’s Crave in 2011 and 4.48 Psychosis (2021)".

Thanks to Danielle for the information.

For more details click the Catastrophic website here

For more on Cleansed click here

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